In a relationship that’s going south? Not to worry! According to researchers at the Northwestern University, your breakup will be considerably less traumatizing than you think. A study of 69 college freshmen found that the after-effects of a breakup were vastly overestimated by . . . almost everyone. Despite proclamations of love and suicidal predictions, the college students bounced back more quickly than anticipated and reentered the dating scene only slightly worse for wear. That’s great, if you’re 18 and the dating world is more than a foggy memory. But, let’s say you graduated from college a few years ago, you haven’t been on a first date for decades and you suddenly find yourself without a better half. Are you going to recover and reenter the dating scene as well as your son . . . or granddaughter? Probably not.
Older adults are facing more post-breakup problems than their younger counterparts, and it’s not simply because of depression. That, after all, is expected. It’s what follows the depression that is causing worry. The newly single, after putting away their wedding rings, start dating, but the dating scene has changed. It’s a brand new world, where the rules that applied before no longer exist and the friends previously relied on for advice are married . . . and clueless. When should you kiss him, when should you sleep with her, can you talk about this, is it okay to ask about that are questions that are being internally asked and externally ignored. No one is willing to touch on the touchy topics and as such, they’re putting their health at risk. In a study of single women over 35, researchers discovered that more than half had been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). And in a survey of sexually active women between 58 and 93, 60 percent admitted they never used protection. The older generations are essentially asking for an STD, and if you’re one of them, you need to take the steps to rectify that.
You can start by listening to your own advice. Think about what you told your children during that first birds and bees talk. I’m willing to bet that the main points were be aware, be open and be safe. So first, be aware. Older people are at a higher risk of contracting an STD and not just because their body is aging, but because society is aging. The population is getting older, and thus so are the people with STDs. By 2015, the majority of people with HIV/AIDS will be over 50. But, no one is talking about it. No one is being open. And, you have to be. Talk to your doctor about safe sex. Talk with your partner about being tested and using protection. The more you discuss, the less likely you’ll be to make a fatal error in judgment. You’ll be safe. You’ll use condoms, male or female. You’ll take the precautions necessary to continue living and continue being sexually active for years to come.
You know what you have to do; you told your kids this not too long ago. So, please start listening to yourself. If you don’t, who will?
Related Links: CDC – Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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